Succulent Care

The question I get most is how do I care for my succulents?

There are two significant pieces of advice I always give:

1.   Water only when dry or in temperate weather about once a week.  In colder weather or the winter plants go dormant so water once or twice a month.  During periods of summers’ extreme heat water twice a week.  Easily the number one killer of succulents is overwatering which means your succulents aren’t drying out between waterings.  When you water water really well ensuring the soil is wet - once the soil is wet, again let it dry before watering again.  If your soil doesn’t dry out regularly, then your succulent will literally rot or “melt” - leaves and stems become mushy and fall off.

To assist in your soil drying out, do not use potting soil but instead use a well draining porous cactus or succulent mix that doesn’t retain water like potting soil does.  In conclusion:  don’t overcare for your succulents!  Neglect them a little bit as they thrive on some stress.

2.  Sunlight - Most succulents require a minimum of 3 to 4 hours of DIRECT not bright sunlight a day.  This means the sun must touch the succulents leaves in order for the succulent to thrive and be healthy.   Indoors or outdoors for succulents doesn’t matter- the answer is can you place them where they’ll receive 3-4 hours of direct sunlight, preferably in the morning - in climates with intense afternoon sun we recommend morning sun and afternoon shade as to avoid burning your succulents’ leaves.  

The best spot for your succulents is an east facing window or side of the house or some other structure or object like a tree or shrub.  East facing is best because it receives morning sun and afternoon shade.  Southwest is another option as well. Be careful of West facing as it may provide too much sun.  If your plants don’t receive enough sun they will lose color and “stretch or reach” looking for light - when a plant etoliates it basically grows taller and does not look good and will eventually die.

Plenty of direct sunlight along with infrequent waterings is a guaranteed formula for healthy succulents.